The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

A bit disappointed King has changed genres in mid-trilogy

endofwatchI enjoyed Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, both of which most people will probably categorize as detective fiction or crime fiction. These are the first two books in the “Bill Hodges Trilogy.” Hodges is a retired police detective who solves a notorious crime before the police figure it out in Mr. Mercedes and helps a kid get out of a very bad jam in Finders Keepers. Both books are well plotted and kept my interest.

In the concluding chapter of Finders Keepers, King foreshadows the potential development of supernatural powers by a criminal awaiting trial if/when he recovers from his vegetative state. In his just released End of Watch, King (on the plus side) takes us back to this criminal, Brady Hartsfield, who was the focus in Mr. Mercedes, one that Bill Hodges makes a point of visiting in the hospital in Finders Keepers on the off chance that that vegetative state is being faked.   Returning to this character is an appropriate way of providing closure, I think, and should suitably wrap up the trilogy.

In general, I think many of us (most?) expect a trilogy that begins in one genre to stay in that genre. While I will read End of Watch, and probably be glued to it, I think King’s writing it as a supernatural thriller is a cop out. True, he is certainly in his trademark genre, but it seems an easy way out to get into supernatural forces instead of completing the trilogy with another pure detective story.

This is my opinion. I’d like to hear yours if you have been reading this trilogy.

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell’s contemporary fantasy “The Sun Singer” is free on Kindle through June 8th,

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2 thoughts on “A bit disappointed King has changed genres in mid-trilogy

  1. I agree. Although I like authors who write in multiple genres, it’s a cheat to change genres midway through a series or even a book. If there is going to be a supernatural element, it has to be at least hinted at toward the beginning. So many authors seem to write themselves into a corner, and then bring out a deus ex machina to finish. Just as bad are writers of trilogies who simply stop book one in the middle of the story without any sort of resolution, and continue into the second as if it were the same book. Pish tosh.

    • At least King foreshadowed the paranormal near the end of book two. I don’t think that’s enough, though, to warrant changing from crime to supernatural fiction. Fortunately, books one and two at least have conclusions to them.

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